LINDEN – In a Class 1A, Area 4 championship double-header Friday night, Linden High saw both its varsity teams claim area titles.
The Lady Patriots opened the night with a 69-44 win over Marengo High. Linden started the game with a 17-9 first quarter aided by seven points and four steals from Tomysha Boykin in the frame. The senior stroked a buzzer-beating three from the left corner off an inbound assist from Imiya Agee to cap the period. Linden never looked back.
Amber Richardson had 20 points, 13 rebounds and five steals to lead Linden. Agee added 20 points, six rebounds and four assists. Boykin finished with 12 points, five assists and five steals.
J’Mya Hall paced Marengo with 20 points, six rebounds and six assists.
““She’s real good. I think she can go All-State. Being a ninth grader averaging 20-plus points a game, she’s the real deal,” Marengo coach Eberne Myrthil said of his standout freshman guard.
Kadijah Crispin added nine points for the Lady Panthers.
Richardson, Agee, Boykin, Hall and Crispin each made the All-Tournament team along with A.L. Johnson’s Akayla McGhee and Sweet Water’s Gabby Cassity.
Linden (20-4) hosts McIntosh Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in the sub-regional round. Marengo (6-13) travels to J.F. Shields for sub-regional action.
“We feel good because of our defense. Our defense always carries us,” Linden coach Teressa Bolden said of her team’s prospects moving into elimination play. “We did a good job on defense tonight. Third quarter, we came out, really stepped it up and turned the defense up.”
“We’ve had a lot of growth. I think we’ve got some leadership on the floor for us at all times. Angela Bouler, Iesha Bouler and J’Mya Hall have been big for us. And Kadijah Crispin stepped up big for us in this tournament. Coach Miller has done a great job all year of working with them,” Myrthil said. “The future is bright in Marengo.”
The boys varsity followed with a 59-41 victory over Marengo. The game featured four lead changes in the first quarter as the Pats played to a 15-13 advantage. From there, the Linden defense took over, holding the Panthers to 15 points over the next two frames to effectively put the game way.
““They drove the ball pretty good and we let them drive. We weren’t closing the gaps in the defense we were playing and they were taking advantage of that,” Linden coach Demetrice Jackson said. “In the first half, we gave up a lot of offensive rebounds. We were letting them get second and third chance opportunities at the basket. At halftime, we went to the white board and made a couple of changes. Our plan for the second half was to make sure we crashed the boards better.”
Linden executed the adjustment well in the second half as it went on to out-rebound Marengo 46-30 in the contest. Four Patriot players had at least six rebounds in the game.
Deantre Johnson spearheaded the Linden effort with 20 points and 15 rebounds. Dequan Charleston finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Isaiah Scott had 11 points and six rebounds.
Roosevelt Thompson had 17 points for Marengo. Cordarius Pritchett scored nine points. De’Angelos Crispin snagged 14 rebounds.
Johnson, Charleston, Scott, Thompson and Pritchett each made the All-Tournament team along with Sweet Water’s Anthony Jones and A.L. Johnson’s Leo Baker.
Linden (18-9) hosts McIntosh Tuesday night for sub-regional action. Marengo (7-12) travels to J.F. Shields.
“They’re a good ball club. We’ve seen them a time or two this season. We’re looking to continue to achieve our goals. We’re going to have an evening practice Sunday. We’re going to have a light practice Monday,” Jackson said.